Do You Get Diabetes From Eating Too Much Sugar?
Do You Get Diabetes From Eating Too Much Sugar?
If you have diabetes, you do not need to eliminate sugar from your diet. And, while we don’t know what causes type 1 diabetes, it isn’t tied to a particular lifestyle, therefore sugar isn’t a direct cause.
The issue of whether sugar promotes type 2 diabetes is a little more nuanced.
Because diabetes is characterized by abnormally high blood sugar levels, it’s all too simple to blame excessive sugar consumption. But, what exactly is the reality about sugar, can eating much sugar cause diabetes, and how does it effect diabetes?
We’ll go through whether sugar causes diabetes, how to cut back on sugar, and how to read food labels so you can make better diet selections.
Where can you get sugar in your diet?
Sugar can be found in fruits, vegetables (fructose), and dairy products (lactose). Food makers, as well as ourselves, add it to food and beverages. These sugars are known as “free sugars,” and they can be found in pure fruit juices, smoothies, syrups, and honey. The main focus of the sugar and health discussion is on free sugars.
sugar that we use in our hot beverages or morning porridge
Sugars hidden in sauces, ready meals, cakes, and drinks are caster sugars.
Pure fruit juice smoothies with honey and syrups, such as golden syrup or agave syrup
Is sugar the cause of diabetes?
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the two most common kinds of diabetes.
We know that neither sugar nor any other factor in your lifestyle causes type 1 diabetes. Your immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas in type 1 diabetes.
The answer is a little more complicated in the case of type 2 diabetes. Although we know that sugar does not cause type 2 diabetes, being overweight increases your chances of developing it. When you consume more calories than your body requires, you gain weight, and sugary foods and beverages are high in calories.
So, if eating too much sugar causes you to gain weight, you’re increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, type 2 diabetes is a complicated disease, and sugar is unlikely to be the sole cause.
We also know that sugar-sweetened beverages, such as canned soft drinks, are linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, which is not always tied to their influence on body weight.
Sugar, diabetes, and your eating habits
Sugary foods are enjoyable to eat on occasion, and having them as a treat as part of a healthy, balanced diet is not an issue. Sugary liquids or glucose tablets may also be required to treat a hypo, which occurs when blood glucose levels fall too low.
However, we consume far too much free sugar, putting our health at risk. Being overweight can make managing diabetes more difficult, as well as raise your chance of developing major health problems in the future, such as heart disease and stroke. Too much sugar is also harmful to your teeth.
Adults should consume no more than 30 grammes of sugar each day, which is equivalent to only seven teaspoons. You can see how quickly the teaspoons add up when a tablespoon of ketchup has roughly one teaspoon of sugar, a chocolate biscuit up to two, and a tiny plate of baked beans almost three.
How to Reduce Sugar Consumption?
You don’t have to fully eliminate sugar from your diet. Sugar is naturally contained in fruits, vegetables, and dairy foods, and most of us in the UK don’t get the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, so it’s critical that we don’t eliminate them.
It is preferable to consume entire fruits and vegetables rather than juices or smoothies, as even pure fruit juices add to free sugar consumption. If you must drink juice, limit yourself to one small glass (150ml) every day.
We all need to reduce our intake of free sugar. It’s not just the obvious sugary treats like cookies and chocolate. It’s the sugar that’s buried in baked beans, spaghetti sauces, tomato ketchup, yoghurts, and ready-to-eat meals. Sugar is also included in several beverages.
Simple modifications in your diet can drastically lower the quantity of free sugar you consume. Examples include:
Choose healthy snacks such as unsweetened yoghurts, unsalted almonds, seeds, fruits, and vegetables instead of chocolate bars, candies, cakes, and biscuits. Try mixing natural yoghurt with chopped fruit or a tiny handful of nuts, for example.
Experiment with lowering the amount of sugar in your recipes; most will still work.
Instead of sugar, use an artificial sweetener.
If you usually drink sugary drinks, switch to diet fizzy drinks and squashes with no added sugar. Alternatively, try water with natural flavours such as mint or sliced lemon. Sugary liquids are best used as a hypos therapy.
If at all possible, cook from scratch. That way, you’ll know exactly what’s in your food. Check out our delicious, simple, and easy-to-follow recipes.
Reduced-fat foods should be avoided. Many actually have more sugar because food manufacturers add it to compensate for the changed flavour and texture caused by the removal of fat. To be sure, read the entire food label.
“Low-fat items, such as yoghurts, can have a higher sugar content, so read labels carefully.”
Margaret, who has type 2 diabetes, is 73 years old.
Food label reading
The simplest approach to figure out how much sugar is in your food is to look at the label. The sugar percentages are for the overall sugar in that food item, not how much of the sugar comes from natural sources like fruit and how much comes from free sugar.
Even though the word “sugar” does not appear in the ingredients list, sugar is still present. Free sugars include honey, sucrose, glucose, glucose syrup, dextrose, fructose, hydrolyzed starch, corn, and maize syrup. Sugar has been added if any of these words appear in the ingredients list.
Look at the ingredients list to discover if a product has a lot of free sugar, which always starts with the biggest ingredient. If sugar or syrup is listed as one of the first few components, the product you’re purchasing will have a high sugar content.